NEW YORK, N.Y. – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News on the minimum wage. Highlights from the op-ed are below:
ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM: We can address this problem in one of two ways. The Legislature can enact an across-the-board increase. Or, under state law, the commissioner of the Department of Labor can convene a wage board to examine conditions in a specific occupations and determine whether an increase in wages is necessary because current wages are inadequate to provide for workers and their families.
…Gov. Cuomo can use his power to create more wage boards to critically examine whether workers in other occupations face similar conditions and therefore deserve a similar raise. But the best solution is for the legislature to pass a law this session raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for all workers.
REASONS TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM WAGE: The reasons to increase the minimum wage are as clear as they are compelling. Paying a fair wage is a statement of our basic values. When we allow our fellow New Yorkers to work full-time and live in poverty, we are sending a message that we do not value them.
…The benefits of a hike would go beyond those who receive it. For each dollar the minimum wage is increased, economists estimate it boosts consumer spending by $2,800 per affected household. A minimum wage hike can stimulate the economy.
WHO EARNS THE MINIMUM WAGE: Let’s be clear: The minimum wage affects more than just high-school kids looking to make a few extra dollars. According to official state Department of Labor statistics from February, half of all workers earning less than $15 per hour are 35 or older. In New York City, 80% of minimum-wage workers are over age 25.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, statewide, 53% of minimum wage workers are women and 50% are people of color.
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